Jen Hatmaker wrote this hilarious post about The Fake Family after adding two children adopted from Ethiopia to her 3 kid household. And it was so funny to me because for months now we've been doing the same thing, conjuring up in our minds all these goals we wanted to achieve as a family before our new daughter comes home from Ethiopia.
You know things like: get our puppy better obedience trained, have regular family devotions, raise our voices less, clean out our closets and drawers, prepare more freezer meals, teach the 4 year old to dress himself, somehow train the 8 year old to flush more than 50% of the time, get the older 3 kids using their checklists and performing daily household chores, become experts at Karyn Purvis methods of discipline - "Are you askin' or tellin'?", get the carpet cleaned, Christmas shop early this year, make homemade injera, have daily one-on-one time with each child, replace that light switch plate that has been cracked since we moved in the house nearly 5 years ago. . .
Because she will be here some day!!
It's ludicrous and funny and nuts but the motivation is genuine.
She made us want to be a better family.
Even though it's true of all four of our children, with this forth one, it is most apparent, she is God's child and He is allowing us the privilege and responsibility to parent her. And we want to get it right.
Though I know we'll fall far short of the ideal, perfect family -- no matter what we try I can't imagine our kids not being loud, our dog not stealing food off the table, and my husband and I never forgetting the right attachment-based parenting methods, resorting to blurting out, "What's wrong with you?!" to our beloved children every now and then -- the goals are not bad things to aim for and we'll keep trying for all our sakes.
But the reality is that she'll be coming home to an imperfect family. An imperfect family that will love her like crazy for the rest of her life and stick by her even on the days she'd rather disown us!